BDN_211206_Hono GB1

Hononegah's Ember Gunnink (32) looks to pass after coming up with a steal against Harlem on Saturday in Rockton.

ROCKTON—With her team struggling to put away the stubborn Harlem Huskies Saturday morning, Hononegah’s Carly LaMay took matters into her own hands.

The senior guard aggressively drove to the hoop for a pair of layups, drawing an and-one free throw she converted. She added two more free throws to score the Indians’ final six points in a surprisingly low-scoring 44-36 victory in NIC-10 action.

“I was frustrated trying to get shots and the team was frustrated,” LaMay said.

“Carly has to learn that’s what we need her to do,” Hononegah head coach Jason Brunke said. “She can do it consistently.”

Generally it’s a plus when a coach describes his team as unselfish. But Brunke points out that a team can be unselfish to a fault.

“I think there were times early in that game where we had some three-on-ones and we ended up not getting a basket because they’re trying to be unselfish and passing rather than just attacking and getting a layup,” Brunke said. “If they think about it, even if they miss we’re liable to get the rebound because we have an advantage.”

Hononegah has a well-earned reputation for two things: hitting 3-pointers and creating turnovers it converts into transition baskets. Neither, however, have come easy so far, despite the Indians’ 6-1 record (3-0 in league).

Even in Friday night’s 58-27 win over visiting Rockford Jefferson, the Indians had shooting issues. Fortunately, sophomore Allyson Niedfeldt delivered four treys and 14 points off the bench and the J-Hawks didn’t have the firepower to pose a serious threat. Bre Carter chipped in 12 points and LaMay had 10.

“All of our games we’ve started a little slow which is definitely a problem because we get down and have to battle back,” LaMay said. “We’ve been able to do that, but we need to start stronger. Last year we forced a lot of turnovers and had more fastbreak opportunities. A lot of teams have watched film on us and they know what we’re like. We’ve had to change some things up.”

The Indians also played the past two games without one of their best outside shooters, junior Emma Clark, who has been dealing with some left leg pain.

“It just sort of surfaced on Thursday,” Brunke said. “She’s getting that all checked out. It wasn’t an impact injury. We hope it’s just a strain. We have other kids who can knock down shots, but Emma does tend to make the game look easy for us at times. She really opens things up so we’re hoping she comes back as soon as possible.”

Against Harlem, the Indians trailed 14-10 after one quarter and 25-21 at the half. They finally tied the game at 29-29 on two free throws by Kamryn Abney and took the lead, 32-31, when Niedfeldt splashed a trey with 1:15 left in the third quarter.

Harlem took its last lead at 36-34 with 5:56 left—but didn’t score again. Haley Warren’s 3-pointer put the Indians on top to stay with 5:20 left.

Warren led Hononegah with 12 points. Niedfeldt had 11.

LaMay said one of the problems for the Indians was getting open shots. The Huskies seemed unfazed by their screens, going around or through them.

“You’d see an open look for a second and then someone would be standing there,” LaMay said. “That happens and you’re kind of hesitant.”

Brunke said it’s good for the team to be challenged now.

“We have faced a pretty good stretch of defenses that have been physical with us,” he said. “That’s good for us. They’re going to have to learn how to deal with that physicality and still execute what we want to do.

“Some of this is on me, too. We have a lot of things going on with our offense right now. I’m trying to see and feel out exactly what our transition is going to look like. A lot of it is on me devising ways so they are more confident when they’re catching the ball where they’re catching it.”

The Indians have a ton of depth and talent. Brunke says it will just take a little time for it all to develop.

“There are 15 (girls) here for a reason,” he said. “They all do different things and can give us a lift on a given night. It’s nice to know we have three guards we can rotate in and three wings we know can play and three rim runners we’re comfortable with. As a coach you have a feel for when lineups are going well and you just roll with them.”

• FRIDAY’S BOXSCORE: Hononegah 58, R. Jefferson 27.

ROCKFORD JEFFERSON (fg ft-fta pts)—Sanacleto 0 2-2 2, Hodges 2 2-4 6, Colson 4 0-0 11, Stevenson 3 2-2 8, Blackmon 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 6-8 27.

HONONEGAH (fg ft-fta pts)—Hann 2 0-0 4, Abney 1 1-2 3, Warren 3 1-2 9, Johnston 0 0-0 0, Barrachina 1 0-0 2, Niedfeldt 5 0-0 14, Carter 5 0-0 12, LaMay 4 1-3 10, Hauser 1 0-0 2, Gunnink 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 3-7 58.

R. Jefferson…… 9 2 7 9—27

Hononegah……17 13 22 6—58

3-pt. Goals: RJ 3 (Colson 3), Hono 9 (Warren 2, Niedfeldt 4, Carter 2, LaMay). Fouled out: none. Total fouls: RJ 11, Hono 13.

SATURDAY’S BOXSCORE: Hononegah 44, Harlem 36.

HARLEM (fg ft-fta pts)—J. Bailey 5 0-0 15, Vyborny 3 0-0 6, K. Bailey 1 0-2 2, Paulson 2 0-0 4, Stovall 0 1-3 1, Davidson 3 2-4 8. Totals: 14 3-9 36.

HONONEGAH (fg ft-fta pts)—Hann 1 0-0 2, Abney 0 2-2 2, Johnston 0 0-0 0, Warren 5 0-0 12, Bell 2 0-0 5, Abney 0 2-2 2, Niedfeldt 3 2-2 11, Carter 1 0-0 3, LaMay 2 3-5 7, Gunnink 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 7-9 44.

Harlem………….14 11 6 5—36

Hononegah……..10 11 13 10—44

3-pt. Goals: Harlem 5 (J. Bailey 5), Hono 7 (Niedfeldt 3, Carter, Warren 2, Bell). Fouled out: none. Total fouls: Harlem 11, Hono 9.

Recommended for you